Oh! How much I waited for you. How much I longed for you. How much I missed you. Summers! You are finally here. Now I can throw my coats and gloves away and pull out those flowery loose skirts and dresses. People are flocking all around on bicycles, sun bathing in the park with cold beverages in hands and I sit and think about summers in India. Summers in India means scorching heat and sweaty days but it was still quite fun. It was the time when we were free, when we had no studies to do...yes it was the summer vacations.
Do you miss that time? I do. I miss being free, I miss playing all day, I miss being a child, I miss being served by my mother after battling with heat all day. You can never have summers in India without refreshing drinks; be it massala chaas, gulkand ice tea or the very staple AAM RAS or Keri Nu Ras. Mangoes as you know are supposed to be the king of the fruits but I never believed so. I never liked mangoes growing up as it would mess up my teeth and due to its heat I would end up with pimples on my face *sad sad*. Only after marriage when we were in Mumbai I tasted the alphonso mangoes and rest as we say is history. Oh I do get pimples even now but alphonso are tasty that I don’t care anymore.
This year summers started with one bad news. News, that UK government has banned the export of all the varieties of Indian Mangoes till 2016. Oh my I was so sad and I am sure all the Indian in the UK feel the same. But I was still hopeful, I checked so many Asian stores and supermarkets but all in vain *sad face*. Last weekend I visited the local Bangladeshi shop I saw mangoes there, no no they were not alphonso but had similar fragrance. I picked up 4 mangoes with a thought of making Aam Ras with them.*happy dance*
Aam Ras means mango pulp and is very popular dish in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is creamy, thick and sweet mixture that is served with Pooris (fried Indian bread) or just like a dessert after meals. This aam ras is made with hint of cardamom that uplifts the taste to the new level and you will end up licking the bowl . Oh yes! I believe that everyone must make Aam Ras atleast once in the summers. No matter how you serve it you are ought to enjoy. A yellow refreshing drink that soothe your soul and convince you that everything is alright.
1/2 cup milk (I used low fat)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder/elyachi
Sugar to adjust the sweetness
4 ice cubes
Peel the mangoes and chop into pieces. Try to take our maximum pulp from the mangoes.
In a blender blend everything together till it becomes creamy (like smoothie or lassi).
Sieve the whole mixture.
Refrigerate atleast 4 hours and then serve cold.
Always soak mangoes in water for atleast 1 hour before use. This helps to eliminate the heat content from the mangoes.
You will need to adjust sugar depending on the taste of the mangoes.
Even adjust milk as per the consistency you prefer.
Using cardamom is optional.
You can also garnish with chopped almonds and pistachios before serving.